Helping Businesses Grow during the Pandemic

Over the last year, we've been working more than ever to help local businesses grow, and make the most of the internet.

It’s no doubt that 2020 will go down in the history books. We’ve all had to learn how to deal with living in the current pandemic and the changing rules that are being put in place. It’s clear that the lockdown period and the current restrictions are resulting in constantly changing landscapes for businesses in every industry across the country.

Even for us at Sokada, whilst we normally like to work with our clients face-to-face, we have had to adapt. Either working from home and having meetings with our clients via Zoom in order to continue to work with them.

We’ve also had to adapt some of the marketing strategies that we provide for our clients. We’ve been working with all of them to ensure they continue to grow and thrive during the Covid-19 pandemic.

That’s why we thought we’d showcase a few of our clients who we have worked with over the last few months to adapt and help them grow… Just like these little acorns.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFw3IbAhmBw/

Green Fig Catering Company

The Green Fig Catering Company is a small family-run company established by partners John & Jo Crittenden. Committed to providing real food throughout East Sussex. They provide food for weddings, events, business lunches, society dinners, and much more.

John & Jo are both by their own accounts ‘proper foodies’ and when Covid-19 restrictions came into place in March, they realised that they needed to adapt what they currently do, so they could continue to provide great tasting food to people across East Sussex.

So, right from the start of lockdown, we worked with them to set up a homemade meal delivery service. This would help people provide delicious food to people who might be shielding or self-isolating and not be able to make it to the supermarket.

This homemade delivery service has been so successful. They’ve had hundreds of orders and are still going strong today. Additionally, over the last few months, we’ve also worked with them to introduce new offerings such as a fine dining delivery service, and afternoon tea delivery service. Also along with their buffet in a box, Halloween dinner and also traybakes for delivery.

Even in the last week, we have launched their newest offering; festive Christmas hampers! These beautifully put together hampers would be a perfect Christmas gift for your loved ones.

If you’re a local business, Green Fig can also provide hampers for staff members. A great Christmas gift full of fantastic nibbles and treats that your colleagues can enjoy. Click here to see the great selection of hampers and luxury hampers they have available.

Burts Catering Butchers

Burts butchers are one of the South coast’s leading catering butchers. They provide great-tasting high quality meat to restaurants and caterers across Sussex, Kent & Surrey. At the start of lockdown they wanted to help out around their local area and provide delicious meat and other produce to people living in Bexhill, Eastbourne, Polegate, Hailsham and all the surrounding villages.

They wanted to create a meat home delivery service, where people can place an order online and get delicious meat delivered straight to their door.

This service has been continuing to grow in popularity, and over the last few month Burts have worked to increase the offerings they can provide to BBQ products and other everyday essentials such as sugar, flour, and even sanitiser gel!

Tunbridge Wells Football Club

After reading one of our recent blog post about Track & Trace forms, they were looking at opening their grounds for football matches. As a result they needed to find a way to track the people that visited the football ground on a particular day.

Therefore we helped them to create an online track and trace form that is found via a QR code. The form is also able to remove entries after 21 days in-line with GDPR regulations.

This form has been working for a number of weeks now, and has made sure that the club is able to keep track of everyone visiting.

Think Heathfield

In order to not just help our clients businesses grow, we have also recently been working with the Heathfield Chamber of Commerce to provide a business directory. This will help encourage people to think about shopping in Heathfield when they need necessities, gifts as well as food. All these local shops and businesses have been hard hit over 2020 and have kept going due to local residents and visitors supporting them. Which we think is great – this will hopefully show everyone all the offers that local businesses are offering so they continue to thrive, moving forwards.

Visit the Think Heathfield website to see for yourself the great choice we have available in our small town. Be sure to also follow Think Heathfield on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with the latest offers.

Want to Make Your Business Grow?

Where we can, we have tried to help all of our businesses, one way or another. Even just down to adding Covid messages or change of details. It is our small way of keeping our community going and we hope it will.

During this uncertain and ever-changing year, we can help your business grow, and make the most of the internet. If you’re interested in working with us to create a website for your business, or create an effective online marketing strategy, get in touch with us today.

On 1st September 2020, Google announced that the search terms report within Google Ads will now be showing only the search terms that reach a certain volume threshold. This reduced visibility for Google ad campaigns has caused a lot of concern among advertisers as well as agencies, who rely on the search term report’s insights to optimise their Google Ads performance.

Just for information, A Google Ads search term report will show you exactly what someone has typed into their PC or mobile device when they have clicked on your ad. It also allows you to see exactly which search terms triggered your ads to appear. And companies such as Sokada Ltd will rely on all these searches to ensure that there are no wasted clicks for our clients. Using this search term report will give us the opportunity to drill down to exact terminology and add in many negative keywords, to ensure these searches are not clicked upon again. Especially if the campaign uses broad match modifier or more open search.

Statement from Google

“Starting September 2020, the search terms report only includes terms that a significant number of users searched for, even if a term received a click. You may now see fewer terms in your report.”

The Impact of Losing this Important Keyword Information

One may think that low-volume, keywords aren’t important—after all, they’re irrelevant. But every single click is possible ad spend wasted. Several low-volume terms can really add up.

The resulting reduced visibility into search queries has many advertisers worried, as this report is so important for Google Ads optimisation.

  • It inhibits small campaign and ad group changes that could possibly create overspending.
  • It makes keyword mining more tricky and renders broad match unusable.
  • It can lead to lower bidding and reduced conversion rates.

Reduced Transparency by Google

This now means that advertisers will need to start using more exact match variations in order to ensure they are only showing for exactly the right search queries. Or reporting will become useless and we will be stabbing in the dark when using certain match types. Unless the advertiser is happy to spend their money in the hope that their ads will be automatically shown to the right people!

You Still Need to Work Hard on Your Campaigns

  • You now need to keep a closer eye on your campaigns.
  • Change your keyword to exact match if you feel more comfortable – although this will lose you some of the smaller search terms and long tail keywords.
  • Start to use Dynamic Search Ads a bit more as they will be used, based on the content within your landing pages. Dynamic Search Ads not only helps you cover your bases, but their search query reports can also help reveal where your traditional search campaigns have gaps in their keyword coverage.
  • Although the data is not now available, Google will still be using it. So if we want to optimise for that data, we will need to think about letting Google optimise for this traffic. Using smart bidding strategies, such as enhanced CPC or target CPA.
  • Or you could always try and broaden your skillset by trying some different ways of advertising your product or service. For example would your business benefit from Facebook marketing? Make sure your SEO is at the top of it’s game (also great for Google Ads). Perhaps a spot of email marketing would be good. There are other ways to get your business out there and seen by potential buyers….

Google Ads and Facebook Ads are giants in their industry. Both, however, offer something different to each other. Here we are going to discuss the benefits of each one and see if one is a better fit for your business.

These two marketing mediums are exceptional tools to reach your desired market. Both are pretty instant exposure and there is definitely a position in the marketing world for each one. These two ad platforms have a lot of common ground, but there a few significant differences that will determine which will possibly be the most beneficial for you business.

If you have not used either paid option for advertising before, then both can seem pretty intimidating. They claim to be easy to set up…and to be fair Google Ads is pretty straightforward. But there are so many variables that will bring your quality score up, keep your costs down and get you seen well, that actually Google Ads can seem a bit of a challenge. With Facebook Ads, the actual adsets and ads are actually pretty easy to do. But you need a Facebook Business Manager page set up first which can also prove a challenge!

The Main Differences

Both are pay per click advertising – you pay when people click on the ad. When you create an ad on either platform, you enter an auction where you place a bid for how much you want to pay for this required ad space. Then you’ll be charged a certain amount of money every time someone clicks one of your ads. Facebook ads can be using a single image, a short video or a carousel of images. Google Ads is just text with no imagery, unless you are thinking of Google Shopping.

With Google Ads, you will see paid Ads either at the very top of Google, normally 3 or 4 adverts, with some at the the bottom of the page as well. You can also advertise on YouTube, the Display Network (paid adverts on other platforms), Google Maps, Google Play and Google Shopping.

Facebook Ads will appear on your customer’s Facebook Wall, through Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Marketplace & on the right hand side of a Facebook page.

Facebook marketing reaches audiences based on location, interests, behaviour and demographics. With Facebook Ads, you are paying to get in front of new customers on social networks, instead of reaching them organically. Pay per click (Google Ads) target customers based on keywords as well as locations and you will see them when you are searching on Google.

The average click cost per action on Facebook is around £13. For Google Ads, it is £37.

Choose Facebook Ads for building awareness, growing your audience and advertising products. Choose Google Ads for immediate possible sales & leads, as well as products or services with a possibly higher buying intent.

Budgets, Cost & ROI

The average cost per click on Google Ads is around £2 but this varies by a massive amount depending on the industry. Solicitors can pay up to and around £10 per click, as can double glazing companies! Whereas with some consumer advertising it will be well under £1 per click. Insurance companies will certainly pay the most! Facebook Ads are normally much less and some B2C advertising can be less than 10p per click. Which can make it a very cost effective way of advertising your products.

Although average CPC is typically more expensive on Google Ads, bear in mind that the people clicking your ads may possibly be later in the buying cycle. Facebook is great for building awareness, although Google Ads can sometimes be better at reaching users at the time of their purchase decision.

Just like Cost Per Click, Cost Per Actions will vary by campaign. It’s largely dependent on how well-targeted your ads are and if you are able to convert at a high rate.  Don’t let what may seem to be a high average CPA scare you off from PPC.

Know Your Market

Some products or services will work extremely well on both platforms. But some will only be beneficial on one or the other. We have recently had great success for a local catering company who were delivering afternoon teas to their local area. This has been exceptional and brought in many new customers through Facebook marketing…and it still is. However we would not have proposed a Google Ad campaign. This is an excellent form of advertising for a possibly one-off service that would make someone smile. And for a Business to Consumer advert. On Google Ads, the cost would have been too high, you would not have had any imagery and it would not have been so successful.

However, if you are promoting a product or service that is not something social, or not something that people would share socially, then Google Ads will possibly be your better option.

Targeting Your Market

Both Google and Facebook Ads give you options for targeting (and retargeting) specific audiences. On both platforms, you can target by age, gender and location, among other things.

However, Facebook is by far the biggest winner for advanced targeting options.

Facebook allows you to create audiences based on a large list of interests and behaviors, thanks to the wealth of information they collect from their 2.6 billion monthly active users.

Want to target someone who is married? ✅ Want to target parents? ✅ Want to target parents with children ages 5-7? ✅ Want to target vegetarian parents with children ages 5-7 ✅ – you can be very specific!

Annoyingly for the UK, you can’t currently target income levels and we aren’t sure when this is going to be an option.

Which Platform Should You Choose?

So….Google Ads Vs Facebook Ads…which should you choose?

Firstly, consider your campaign goals. Are you focussing on making sales as quickly as possible? If so, Google Ads could be the better choice. If you’re looking to expand brand recognition or reach a wider audience, on the other hand, Facebook Ads may be the better choice.

Next, take your industry into consideration. Both B2B and B2C businesses use Google Ads successfully. Facebook Ads often work better for B2C businesses, especially those selling less expensive items. People are more likely to impulsively buy these products after being exposed to them a few times. However, even for B2B there are going to be opportunities on Facebook Ads—especially for remarketing and lookalike audiences.

Your audience also affects which platform you should choose. Do people search for your business or service with an intent to buy? If so, Google will probably bring the best results. But if your client is trying to build their audience for a new product, Facebook will typically work better.

Consider which stage of the buyer’s journey you’re trying to target with PPC ads—AdWords is great for bottom-of-the-funnel prospects, while Facebook is usually best for attracting new top-of-the-funnel prospects.

Finally, consider your advertising budget and your level of technical skill. Do you have the money to invest in Google Ads, even if you’re in a competitive industry? Money can be very quickly wasted if you have not set up the campaign correctly. Do you have the ability to create strong image or video-based ads for Facebook? Discussing questions like this can help you sketch out a strategy that’s realistic and actionable.

Tracking Your Results

Tracking what you have done is critical. Always make sure that you have conversions set up, especially with e-commerce, along with Google Analytics. Google Tag Manager is great for adding e-commerce information as well as recording email conversions. You won’t know whether you are wasting your money if not!

Want to Speak To Us?

If you would like to dip your toe in the water and, having read this, have decided which way you would like to spend your money then why not have a chat with our marketing team at Sokada. We can set you up with either an effective Google Ads account, or perhaps you may be thinking Facebook Ads is the way forward… to do nothing however, will always limit your sales. Give us a call on 01435 817226 and have a chat with us. Or even have a go at it yourself – it can be time consuming but so satisfying when you make that first sale… Best of luck!

During this period of uncertainty, plenty of small businesses in our local communities have had to adapt to a new way of selling their products and services. Or perhaps even close up shop altogether. Many businesses will have turned to their online marketplace in order to keep selling their products and services. But even with the ability to sell online; it has still been tough on the smaller businesses that depend on their bricks and mortar location.

One of the great ways businesses around us have been able to stay in touch with their customers is through social media. Sites such as Facebook and Instagram have been incredibly useful in keeping your customers up-to-date. Whether you’re posting about opening hours, sharing products from your online shop, or posting updates on how the business is getting on; it’s a great way to stay in touch.

Facebook Shops – A Potential Game-Changer

Yesterday, Facebook announced a new feature to help small businesses to sell products online directly through their social media page. This could be a game-changer in the world of local business. From today, anyone with a Facebook or Instagram page can have an online E-Commerce offering for their customers.

Image from Facebook

“Facebook Shops aim to make shopping seamless and can empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers.”

Facebook

What Facebook Shops allows you to do is to create an online shopping platform for your products that can be viewed within the Facebook App or website. This makes it easier than ever to promote your products to your followers on social media. It also makes it easy for customers to browse through your products, ultimately being able to purchase products and services from you.

During this uncertain time, this feature will be a great help to businesses struggling to move to an online marketplace. If you have a Facebook page, it will be simple to set up a shop and start selling to customers.

Integration with Ecommerce Websites

If you already have a website for selling your products, you might not think that Facebook Shops would help you to reach more people and increase your sales online. But according to Facebook, this new feature can import, and integrate items from Ecommerce systems such as WooCommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce.

Facebook is also working with these Ecommerce sites to ensure Facebook Shops work hand-in-hand with an established online shop. This means you won’t have to spend time constantly updating the stock on two different platforms.

Having your products on Facebook also creates a new form of advertising. You can use Facebook Ads to promote a particular product, which then leads to a product page on Facebook. By doing this, you can create very specific targeted ads that advertise individual products or collections. You can then use this to advertise to niche audiences who will be more likely to buy certain products.

How can I get started?

If you already have a Facebook page, you can set up your shop straight away. We’re already working with some of our clients to make sure they’re up and running on Facebook Shops. We’ll be uncovering the full potential of these online shops in the coming weeks. We hope to soon understand exactly how much this will help the businesses we work with.

If you’d like to set up a Facebook Shop for your business, and you’re not sure where to start; get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to help you get started.

For years, even decades, people have been obsessed with the idea of robots and smart technologies. We’re always dreaming of the incredible things we might be able to do in the future. The 1950s and 60s were seen as the ‘golden age of futurism‘. These technologies such as driverless cars, TVs on your wrist and factories run by machines was something that could only be dreamed of. But dreams of robots taking over everything in our lives might not be the best idea at the moment, especially for local online marketing.

It seems we’re now reaching the tip of the iceberg, as things dreamed of decades ago are now a reality. Google, Apple, and Tesla are all working on the technologies for driverless cars. Apple and Samsung are also in hot competition with each other over who can create the best smartwatch. Not to mention the online marketplace Amazon has automated so many of its delivery processes with robots. Reports even suggest that Amazon’s latest ventures is automating the delivery of products through drones delivering to your door.

Even TV shows showed of Driverless cars as an incredibly futuristic technology. Anyone remember this iconic car from the 1980s?

You may have dabbled with some artificial intelligence that’s out there, and they can be very clever. My phone, for example, knows my habits of where I go. It knows at 5:30, I leave the office and go home. At this time, my phone suggests that I might need directions to get home. Clever, right? Apart from when it suggests that I go to work at 9 am on a Saturday.

So whilst some of these new technologies are clever and anticipate your every move; there are still a few things that require a little bit more of a human touch. I would argue that one of those things is Local Online Marketing.

Artificial Intelligence and Online Marketing

As a web design company in Sussex, we know plenty about making websites, as well as how to market local businesses online. We’re also working hard to make sure we stay ahead of the curve with new online marketing techniques. Whilst we do use quite a few clever technologies to refine our techniques, most of the SEO and Content writing we do is done by hand – no robots.  

You might think that this is a little bit old-fashioned. But the problem is that in order to optimise content, the robots just haven’t got it right yet for writing quality content, especially for local businesses. These marketing giants have all the data on the internet, but they don’t know our local community as well as we do.

Robots local online marketing

There are plenty of ‘marketing robots’ out there that try and help decide the best ways to market a business. Whilst this is incredibly useful, it’s not foolproof. Humans can’t possibly handle the huge amount of data there is out there. As a local business, you don’t want to look at all the data from around the world, you will probably want to focus on the communities around you first.

Unsurprisingly, there is software out there that can write the text for you on any topic, that’s 100% original and not plagiarised. But whilst this is handy and can save you a lot of time, it really misses out on one of the cornerstones of marketing itself.

Missing Out on the Human Connection

Word-of-mouth is still an incredibly powerful marketing tool. What’s more important in local business is not making sure you’re targeting the people with lots of content but making sure that you’re connecting with your customers and the community. With a number of different channels you can reach your customers through, it doesn’t take a computer to work out which ones are best for your business.

Word of Mouth Local Online Marketing

There is research that shows people still value human connection online. A blog post by Adweek shows that 84% of consumers still trust word of mouth over automated social media posts. As a local business, you can really use social media to make your business appear more human to your customers. Putting regular updates and faces in on your social media pages and website makes you appear more friendly. Going further and engaging with your followers on social media keeps your brand in their minds.

As a local business, you are much closer to your customers than the big businesses you could be competing with. However, this is one of the advantages that you have against them. So why not use social media and online marketing to make use of that and be more human.

So if you’re a local business in Sussex, or even the rest of the South East and you need help with your online marketing, we can help. Get in touch with us, and see what we can do for you.

If you’re a small, local business you may already be on the social media bandwagon. Using sites such as Facebook helps to successfully promote your services or products to your customers. If you’re not, then you should seriously think about jumping on board. Even within local communities, not being on Facebook could make you fall behind your competitors, and we don’t want that. In this blog post, I’ll discuss how Facebook’s feature Targeted Organic Reach can help drive sales to your local businesses.

There are currently over 25 million small business pages like yours who are using Facebook to promote their business. The best thing is many of them are doing it without spending any money on paid advertising. Everyone loves free things, therefore, getting your small business on Facebook seems like a no-brainer. Being on social media provides free advertising to the people in your community, and what’s not to like about that?

Targeted Organic Reach

If used effectively, free Facebook posting creates genuine connections which further drive customer sales. Whilst there are paid and sponsored advertising options available on Facebook, it isn’t entirely necessary to use it. Small businesses are likely to not have monstrous advertising budgets. This means free Facebook advertising could give your local business extra exposure and make a meaningful difference.

What is Organic Reach?

For those of you already using Facebook to promote your business, you might be aware of the term Organic Reach. But if you’ve not heard of it before, what it means is the number of people who see your posts without spending money on promoting it. Posting something to your business page without paying for it to be promoted, relies solely on organic reach.

In recent months, research shows that in general, the organic reach of posts is in decline. It’s now becoming more tricky to get your messages out to your followers through organic reach. This is because new algorithms on Facebook means newsfeeds are more likely to show content from friends and family – not businesses. As a result, to get your brand out there, you’ll need to find another way to promote your business on Facebook.

If you don’t pay for advertising on Facebook, it’s never been more important to make your post-high-quality, engaging content. This kind of content will obtain the highest organic reach to your followers and the local community. There are plenty of tips online about how to extend the reach of your post, by making sure it’s engaging enough to instigate interactions with your followers.

Some articles also highlight the importance of getting comments and reactions compared to likes that rank as better engagement on Facebook’s algorithms. Others suggest posting more videos to tap into the increasing number of people who watch video content on the platform. Facebook loves when your posts are engaging to your followers, and the more interaction you get on a post. The higher organic reach you’ll get, and the more exposure you’ll get and so on.

Whilst all of this is good advice, there is another feature which might make this easier for you.

Targeted Organic Reach

The best way to describe this feature is to use an example of how it could work for a business. Let’s say you’re a local charity shop, and you have a large amount of women’s clothing available at the moment. You might write a post telling your customers about the range of women’s clothes you have available.

If you posted something like this, it would go out to a small number of your followers. The organic reach of the post would rely on who saw and interacted with it. But unsurprisingly women’s clothing is not necessarily going to appeal to all your followers. For example, men aren’t likely to be interested in women’s clothing, so won’t interact with the post.

This is where Targeted Organic Reach steps in to give you a bit of a helping hand. This allows you to specify what demographic of followers you want the post to go out to. Your female followers will be interested in women’s clothing, so you’ll want to make sure they see it. Facebook says that this should help increase meaningful interactions with posts that you publish on your page. In turn, this will boost your organic reach.

This kind of targeting helps to boost interaction on your posts. The more interaction you get, the more Facebook recognises it as high-quality content, and bingo, your organic reach increases.

The best thing about this feature is that it’s free to use. Previously, you had to pay for targeted Facebook advertising. Opening this up to organic reach means local businesses with smaller marketing budgets are able to maximise their exposure.

Like they say ‘Nothing comes for free’

Despite the potential of this feature being game-changer for free advertisement and local businesses, there is always a price that will come with making this successful for you, and that price is your time. You will need to spend plenty of time understanding your followers on Facebook. This will involve experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. You’ll need to be in it for the long run, as this can take weeks or even months.

There are also other ways to target your customers on Facebook, but these will all be paid advertising.

If it is all a bit much for you, then we can help with any social media assistance you need. We have plenty of experience in creating bespoke marketing for local businesses on social media. So there’s no need to go it alone.

Paris Birthday Celebrations

We have just been to Paris this weekend. It was our eldest daughter’s 21st birthday and we offered her a trip away. This is where she chose. So, after the hotel and all the normal sightseeing trips were booked, we needed to look at where to eat. And this is where the importance of reviews and having lots of good ones came into play. We had no clue where to go, so had to find places online and hope for the best.

We based all our restaurant decisions and bookings on where had good reviews and lots of them! It didn’t really matter where they were in Paris. Everything seemed to be about 1/2 an hour away, either by bus or by the metro, so we were free to go wherever we wanted. And we wanted to choose places that lots of people have been to and liked. To be fair, most of where we booked didn’t even take bookings, so we also had to queue! But what a testament to a restaurant that people were queueing up outside, even in the rain!

Us on a 1/2 hour bus journey!

The first day

We started off around the Eiffel Tower (stunning) but was a bit of a food disaster as we were hungry but hadn’t found anywhere to eat and ended up buying super expensive baguettes from a stallholder.

But then we fancied an ice cream. so we took 5 minutes and “Googled it”. We actually walked about 20 minutes away from The Eiffel Tower to get an ice cream at a cafe called Amorino. They did the most beautiful flower shaped ice creams and were just delicious. We got this from Trip Advisor… Over 1200 reviews left just for an ice cream parlour – got to be good right? And they were!

In the evening, we had booked to go to one restaurant but where Sophie really wanted to go was Pink Mamma. But here you couldn’t book. Well we got the bus for 1/2 an hour(!!) and turned up in the Moulin Rouge district of Paris. Walked down a few side streets and there it was – all pink and tiled outside with a massive queue up the side of the building! We looked up the number of seats it had – 110. We stood at the back of the queue and worked out we were over 100th in the queue – pretty tight but we made it inside. And it didn’t disappoint! One big fat Google review left for them after our meal!

Our 2nd day

We decided to head up to Montmartre. We thought we would find a nice little cafe for breakfast but there were so many people milling around as well as it looked like rain, and we had nowhere to eat! By this time it was around 10.30 and we were hungry. So again, the phones came out and we found The Hardware Société. A little restaurant around the back of Sacre Coeur…with massive queues outside! We left our name and were able to return in about 1/2 an hour (sensing a theme here) where we had jumped to the top of the queue! Well this was definitely worth the wait. Instead of the traditional eggs and bacon, 3 of us were served with pork belly (the bacon bit), eggs on rye bread, leek and bacon potato hash (hash browns). And what a feast! One of us had baked brioche with fruit, meringue (??) and yoghurt. The hot chocolate came in a jug, all such great touches. It was so unusual, but oh so wonderful!

Later in the day, as if we needed to eat any more, we popped into another amazing restaurant called Maison Sauvage for a cocktail and some French chips (classy). And bam – another great review!

Then in the evening, we travelled over to Brasserie Bellanger for the birthday meal. The service in all of the restaurants was impeccable. They couldn’t do enough for us. The food was perfection. The price was high…but hey it’s Paris!

To summarise

And we found all of these wonderful places via either Googling them and checking out the Google Reviews, or through Trip Advisor. The Hardware Société even had a lightbox asking for reviews – so important for restaurants. Obviously we have posted reviews for all of these places, including the hotel we stayed in, The Hotel Residence Europe, which again, was really lovely.

We know how important it is to keep growing your reviews, being in the business we are in. But do you always ask your clients to review you?

There are so many ways now. Google, Trip Advisor, Trustpilot, Checkatrade, Facebook plus all the smaller and growing review websites that are showing online now.

Always ask – people won’t necessarily just post a review if you don’t prompt them. We are always trying to grow our reviews and have recently found out different ways to do it. More of this to come in another blog!

Our weekend away was amazing. And so much of that was down to the reviews online. Vital for any type of business, whatever you do. You need to to offer such great service and products that people will go out of their way to say how wonderful you are!

What is a broken link?

Many people and companies who have their own website do not check for broken links. But you really need to know why fixing broken links is important for your website. The internet is built on hyperlinks. Linking between web pages is a fundamental feature of it all and is one aspect of keeping a strength to your website. When all is well and good, every link on your site will lead exactly to the right place.

But sometimes links don’t work. A page may be deleted or unavailable. An image might not load or be missing. A site or resource you link to might disappear. Someone who you have linked to might move a post or page and not update others which link to it. A particularly regular problem will be linking to online magazines. Most articles will eventually get deleted and that can lead to lots of broken links.

What could happen?

When someone clicks on a link on your site and it doesn’t take them to its intended destination, the following can happen:

  1. It’s frustrating for the user.
  2. It shows that you don’t do regular housekeeping.
  3. It can harm your credibility as an authority in your field.
  4. It could affect your website conversion if it’s on a sales page.
  5. It can definitely hurt your SEO and page rankings.

The worst result for the user clicking on a broken link is to be sent to a generic browser 404 page. Then the user has to click the “back” button to return to the previous page. We know that this is really frustrating, so we are sure your customers would too!

Ideally we want to identify those links that are broken and change or remove them. This is basic housekeeping of your website and should be done on a regular basis.

Linking to external websites

It is a great idea to link to external websites. It actually helps to strengthen your own website slightly. However these links could always stand a chance of being changed or deleted; then you may have a problem. It will be your website that suffers, if they haven’t redirected this page somewhere else. And this happens so much!

However, this is a really easy fix to make. There are plenty of free broken link checkers online today that are so easy to use. Just add in your URL and they do the work for you. They tell you which pages have broken links and even the section of the page that is broken, along with the source code. Broken Link Check is one such website. We have just done a test on our own website and sure enough there was a broken link from one of our customers. They had moved a page and not redirected it.

Just keep up to date with this – always make sure there are no broken links! Here you have found out why fixing broken links is important for your website. Go to our blog to find out other tips and advice.

Thanks for reading!